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Newspaper photojournalist detained, severely assaulted

(MFWA/IFEX) - Emmanuel Kubi, a photographer with the "Daily Guide", an Accra-based privately-owned newspaper, was on January 26, 2010 arrested and detained on the orders of an Accra High Court presiding judge, Justice James B. Benson.

The "Daily Guide" photographer was covering the trial of four criminals convicted of murder. The Ghana News Agency reported that Kubi was sent to a cell within the court premises and locked up together with the convicts and other criminals.

Kubi told the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in an interview that the criminals, upon realising he was a journalist, subjected him to further beating, threats and insults. "One of them even inserted his finger into one of my eyes", he said.

The journalist's ordeal began after a scuffle with the prison officers escorting the prisoners. The officers claimed Kubi had no permission to photograph the convicts. He was allegedly slapped two times and beaten by the prison officers and family members of the convicts, following their unsuccessful attempt to seize his camera.

Meanwhile, Western Publications Limited, publishers of the "Daily Guide", filed a complaint with the Chief Justice about continuous harassment of its staff members on the courts' premises. According to Alhaji Abdul Rahman Gomda, the newspaper's news editor, one of their photographers was also assaulted the previous week.

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